"Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop away from you like the leaves of Autumn."
At the beginning of a few of my classes this week, I've asked my students to call to mind one thing that they are grateful for in their life. I caution them that there is a good chance that many things will come to mind.... then I ask them again, just for this exercise, to focus on only one (reminding them, of course, that they can do it again later with all the others!).
While we move through our asana practice, I ask them to recall the thing for which they are grateful. I try to do this when we are in challenging poses as well as poses that are more ease-ful.... but especially when there is any hint of a struggle or unnecessary tension. Then I ask them to consider how shifting awareness from struggle to gratitude influences their physical and emotional bodies.
This is a version of practicing Patanjali's Yoga Sutra
Vitarka badhane pratipaksha bhavana
When disturbed by negative thoughts, opposite [positive] ones should be thought of. This is pratipaksha bhavana.
Since we don't have a ton of special events at the studio this weekend (unless you are in the Teacher Training program), I'm going to recommend getting OUTSIDE for some time in nature.... which, as Jody reminded me last week, "is good for your soul." Perhaps you can put a little pratipaksha bhavana into practice like I did last weekend... shifting perspective as only nature's peace can provide...
...like the leaves of Autumn!